Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: What happens when documentary filmmakers, whose mission is to probe, explore and reveal, take as their subject one of the world's greatest living magicians, whose life and art are basically off limits to probing, exploration and revelation? More than a decade in the making, Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is the captivating result of this curious conundrum. [Kino Lorber] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    May 16, 2013
    This documentary provides an elegant, enthralling peek behind the curtain and into the you-won't-trust-your-eyes world of this celebrated contemporary conjurer.
  2. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Apr 16, 2013
    Here's a movie with magic.
  3. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Apr 16, 2013
    Unsurprisingly, Mr. Jay proves a hugely entertaining guide, and as generous about his professional inspirations as he is reticent about his own life.
  4. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Apr 17, 2013
    The film never even attempts to peer behind the curtain of Jay’s colorful existence; it’s content that the show in front of it is spectacle enough. But Deceptive Practices would be a richer, deeper experience if the filmmakers had penetrated Jay’s fierce boundaries even a little.
  5. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 18, 2013
    Whatever the unanswered mysteries of Jay’s personal life, just watching this magician’s hands at work with a deck of cards is positively mesmerizing.
  6. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Apr 18, 2013
    After sitting at his elbow that day, I can tell you how he manages the tricks I saw really close-up. Not mysterious at all: It's magic, pure and simple.
  7. Reviewed by: Joseph Jon Lanthier
    Apr 14, 2013
    It never bothers to attempt the one thing we'd expect and hope from a documentary about Ricky Jay: It doesn't try to bamboozle us.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 8, 2013
    Even if u don't recognize the name, his face may be familiar from his acting gigs in films and on TV. He's best known for his sleight of hand, primarily with playing cards. This doc outlines his career in magic, which started when he was a boy. That part's interesting and the tricks are truly amazing. The aspect that clutters it up is his detailed references to every obscure (at least for the uninitiated) magician that influenced him. There's nothing unique or creative about the film's approach, but if u wanna find out more about the man, this'll do the trick. Collapse